Bike riders have a love/hate relationship with hills. Usually it's hate going up and love coming down. But there is something about the grinding climb that keeps us coming back for more – perhaps it's the view from the top.
Whatever your reasoning, we know that all the Melbourne climbers are missing the chance to test themselves against the likes of Baw Baw and Lake Mountain, so we're hunting down some local hills to keep you busy during lockdown.
Don't forget when going out in search of hills in your local neighbourhood to cover up, keep it local and keep your distance.
Help us discover the 'Mount' in Waverley and the 'Hill' in Box, Forest, Clifton and Wheelers. Send us a message about your favourite local hill, and a picture if you've got one, or let us know in the Facebook comments.
The hills of the 'burbs
Anderson Street, South Yarra
Best known as the hill section of The Tan track, Anderson Street hill gained bike riding notoriety in 2014 when a local chiropractor 'Everested' the 650m suburban street by cycling up it 328 times in a row over 24 hours and six minutes.
Yarra Street, Kew
Another well-known steep trip popular with cyclists, Yarra Street is situated just off Kew Boulevard. "A gentle ramp, followed by a gradient in the mid-teens, then a 20% punch, a flattish roundabout, and a recovery stretch at about 11%. At 500 metres with 50 metres vertical gain it’s over quickly, or that’s the theory," says Paul Dalgarno, who also Everested this hill in 2014.
Gaffney Street, Pascoe Vale
Gaffney Street is a popular artery through Pascoe Vale, but at one end near the Moonee Ponds Creek there is a very steep 300m hill. Parallel to that section there are three other steep streets, making up "The Gaffney Four". We took these calculations from The Climbing Cyclist:
- Gaffney Street: 300m at 9%
- Bolingbroke Street: 200m at 13.5%
- Pardy Street: 200m at 14.5%
- O’Hea Street: 200m at 13%
- Gaffney Street: 16%
- Bolingbroke Street: 20%
- Pardy Street: 25%
- O’Hea Street: 30%
Plenty River Drive, Greensborough
A short, sharp and steep little section of winding road off the Greensborough Bypass and Diamond Creek Road is popular with local riders for its run of back-to-back-to-back repeat hills.
Glenvale Road, Donvale
Not as well known with bike riders, there are cars that struggle to get up this stretch of back road in Donvale / Ringwood North. Local kids who tackle it on their scooters have been known to walk away with square wheels.
Sunnybrook Drive, Wheelers Hill
The Sunnybrook Drive ride up to Lum Road in Wheelers Hill attracts a few Strava warriors, with an average gradient of around 8% over the 600m hill, and some really steep sections.
Waverley Road, Glen Waverley
This long and straight stretch of road in the south east suburbs has been labelled on Strava as a "Horrible Hill" and has caught many a unsuspecting bike rider out.
Bonds Road, Lower Plenty
Another bike riders delight in Melbourne's north eastern suburbs, Bonds Road is a steady 1.78km ride up hill and a popular spot to test the legs.
What have we missed?
Send us a message about your favourite local hill, and a picture if you've got one, or let us know in the Facebook comments.
You can find more great places to ride (not necessarily up hill) in Melbourne here:
- Places to ride during lockdown
- Melbourne's top family-friendly bike trails
- North, south, east, west – Riding into Melbourne
- People who ride bikes – Melbourne, Facebook Group
- Cycling maps - local government areas
Don't forget when going for a bike ride during lockdown to cover up, keep it local and keep your distance. Learn more here.